Supernatural

Tuesdays 9:00 PM on The CW
Supernatural

Supernatural Season 8 Report Card: B+

by at . Comments

In a lot of ways, Supernatural Season 8 felt split into two parts, where the first half centered on flashbacks with Sam and Dean trying to reunite and the latter half focused on the tablets and the larger repercussions involved.

While the outset seemed to stumble along trying to figure out a direction that would be both fresh and entertaining, the final stretch of episodes started pulling things together and reinvigorating the series towards an outstanding finale.

Let's wait out the hellatus together as we rundown Supernatural Season 8 in our latest TV Fanatic Report Card...

Brother Hunters

Best Episode: Hands down the finale, "Sacrifice" earned best episode, and for me certainly ranks up there for top episodes for the series. The tablet story came to a head, revealed a great twist with Metatron, delivered top performances from all the actors and most notably Jared Padalecki and Mark Sheppard, a dramatic Winchester brothers moment, as well as a jaw dropping and visually cool final scene with the angels falling from the sky. This was an all out Supernatural effort where everyone from the writer, director, actors, effects, and everything in between was on top form. This was a fantastic game changing way to lead into next season while reminding viewers that this show has still got it.

Worst Episode: Ultimately, "Bitten" still takes the title as worst episode. I appreciate the effort and risk to try something new, but with very little of Sam and Dean, and a collection of characters that felt pretty much one note, it was hard to invest in the hour. Luckily, the latter half of season eight had a pretty strong run of episodes, especially leading up to the finale, so it was far easier to pick this one out as the bottom of the pack.

Best Character: This one is tough because both Sam and Dean had major moments throughout the season both physically and emotionally. Plus, they're the Winchester brothers, so what's not to love? Yet, I'm going to give it to Crowley. He upped his game proving just how ruthless, powerful, and downright evil he could be. With cunning manipulation and a villainous master plan to kill off all of Sam and Dean's saves, he was a force to be reckoned with. Follow that up with a dramatic transformation towards a humanized version of the King of Hell complete with a desire for love and a penchant for HBO's Girls. Kudos to Mark Sheppard for making this character the one you love and hate with equal passion.

Worst Character: Sorry, Amelia, but even with the rest of season eight unfolding, you still get to be worst character. Maybe it was the lack of chemistry between Amelia and Sam. Maybe it was the fact there wasn't much to her in the flashbacks. Maybe it was because she was pretty much gone as soon as she had arrived. It's not that the concept of Sam wanting a normal life was bad, it was just Amelia never seemed to really make that option feel strong enough to be believable. I expected her to pop up in the finale with respects to Crowley's plan or some sacrifice Sam would have to make, but rather she disappeared like the over illuminated cheeriness of the flashback scenes she was involved in.

Best Romantic Relationship That Never Was: I never thought I'd say this, but there was something rather fun, fresh, and flirty with Meg and Castiel in "Goodbye Stranger." Not only did the episode allow Meg to really grow as a character, but it was so easy to smile when she and Castiel would talk to each other. Would it have worked out, angel and demon? Guess we'll never know because Castiel lost his grace and Meg sacrificed herself. Oh, what could have been.

Best God Trial: The final trial was never fully completed although it was interesting, and the second felt a little too easy (even if we did get to see Bobby again). Yet, the first trial not only got the ball rolling on Sam and Dean's real quest, but it had them looking a lot like Clark Kent or some type of hipster with those glasses. What's more, the visuals of the hell hound in blue tint weren't cheesy or ruined the scariness of never seeing them before. It was a cool concept to have to kill one and the moment where Sam gutted it only to be covered in blood was gross and fitting for a Supernatural task. Just another day at the office, right?

Hopes for Season 9: While this season brought some more struggle to Sam and Dean's relationship, the finale helped really bring them back together despite the major odds. It'll be nice to see that continue and get a good portion of next season with the brothers working together and on the same page as a unified front.

At the same time, I'd love to see how Castiel handles his human form (also Crowley, right?) and perhaps interactions with the fallen angels. It'll be interesting to see what them cast out of Heaven means. Also, might we ever see Supernatural's version of God?

I hope the fallout of the finale isn't wrapped up quickly, and instead actually dealt with as a new turning point for both the brothers and the series as a whole.

Really, I'm hoping that Season 9 takes the strengths of the finale and runs with it towards a new story arc that spans the one season and feels focused amidst the side quests. I'm hoping that the character focus and growth is combined with the overall larger story, while garnering the sense of stakes, scary, and humor that we've come to know and love after eight years. There's still plenty of gas left in the Impala tank and I'm excited to see where the next journey goes.

Overall Grade: B+

Your turn TV Fanatics! What did you think of Supernatural Season 8?

 

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Fifty

Crowley is the Best hands down!!!!

Avatar

Loved Abaddon and Naomi, and sorry that they have been killed off. Benny was great, too. Henry Winchester was interesting, and I liked Meg (she should have got together with Cas). Really disliked the Amelia story and the amount of time it dragged out. Disliked a lot of MOW episodes, especially Krissy (teenage serial killers episode), Bitten and Dog/Familiar. Disliked Mrs. Tran, Kevin, Garth and Charlie. Many episodes should have been just Sam and Dean ones (without Charlie or Garth). Sam should have looked for Dean in Purgatory. Crowley is wonderful, and I would have liked to have seen him fight Lucifer. Hope Abaddon returns.

Avatar

This season was a D for me. It started out with such promise and then faded into nothing at the end. I think that all the episodes with purgatory flashbacks were good. I liked as Time Goes By; Citizen Fang and Southern Comfort had the most emotion, though they tried to infuse fake emotion into some really bad episodes, like the finale and Trial and Error. I think that was the real problem with this season if that all of the emotion was forced between the brothers after Benny and Dean's experience in purgatory was gone and I really think it was because the storyline was so stupid that it gave the brothers nothing to do. Closing the gates of Hell is just dump, and so is curing a demon. Well it would have been good if they'd pick the right demon, Meg duh. After they stripped him of his purgatory warrior persona Dean looked bored and stupid and Sam just has a bad storyline the entire season starting with terrible Amelia and then the stupid trial, which by the way he shouldn't have been the one doing. Dean should have killed the Hell hound (revenge) and rescued Bobby (I'm been to purgatory, duh. I have longer relationship with Bobby duh, I should get to say goodbye duh, closer duh). Castiel as assassin was good all the way up until the stupid repetitive fight scene, come on where some imagination here. Killing Benny really bad move, he was the best character the whole season. I have nothing to say about Metatron, never bought into him at all. Naomi started out interesting and then went to pot like most of the other supporting characters this season, but Crowley crying well I just couldn't take that. I just wanted to puke. Good bad guys should stay good bad guys that's the only was the story stays interesting. My biggest complaint about season eight though are no good fight scenes after the purgatory episodes, what are they guys too old to fight and no sex for Dean that's a deal breaker. Not looking forward to season nine if this keeps up.

Avatar

"Sacrifice" was a terrible episode. The moment between Dean and Sam made no sense. Sam gave the same speech about disappointing his dad in "Bugs" in season one. Rather than address Sam's comment about disappointing Dean, Dean changed the subject with a blatant lie - Dean threw all the bad stuff Sam did in Sam's face at the start of Sacrifice when he told Sam what he should confess. While Dean has always sacrificed everyone and everything else to save Sammy, often its more out of duty or with resentment. And what was the garbage about God's intention being that the person undertaking the trials die? When Kevin revealed the first trial he specifically said that the person should not fear death, implying there were worse consequences to come. So when the final said death was the worst consequence it was a huge dramatic fail for me. I figured Cas would lose his grace, but the way it was taken without any real fight, when Cas was the warrior and Metatron the scribe and Cas was warned by Naomi? My first thought was that he was Tasha Yar'ed. Before the episode started I hoped Cas would sacrifice his grace to save Sam. I thought the episode highlighted the weakness of the writing team. Now with Edlund gone I'm afraid it will get worse. I guess I'm one of the few fans who was left completely cold by this finale. I will watch next year but I'm not counting the days until the new season.

Avatar

As much as I wanted to like this season, I really didn't. I thought the first half had some promising elements, with the Purgatory flashbacks, the standalones tying into the brothers' story, Benny, Cas' mysterious rescue. Samelia didn't work but it felt like there would have been more to the situation had Carver not switched course midseason. And even the brothers' conflict (although unnecessary, imo) felt like it was setting them up to enter a mature relationship in which both were equal partners. The second half was big on the brother touchy feely stuff but it felt more like a regression than character growth. I'm not that keen on over the top caregiver, codependent Dean or the brothers having a parent/child dynamic. I dont' know why it's so hard for showrunners to allow the brothers to be close but still acting like 30+ year old men. I also thought the trial storyline was overly dragged out, the standalones mostly pointless, the pacing was off, and the writing got downright sloppy in parts (deciding to resurrect Abaddon and then leaving her unattended? not bringing Kevin to the bunker from the get go? Sam leaving the portal between Purgatory and hell open? come on, guys!) And the "what's wrong with Sam this season?" storyline has just been beaten to death by now. There were some thing I liked in the second half, though. The angel storyline came together nicely, the MoL mythos was interesting (but underdeveloped, to date), Abaddon is a cool character, and Mark S. did a fantastic job as Crowley. But overall, the season didn't gel for me and I'd say it'd rank among my least fav seasons.

Avatar

Best Episode: Tie between "Blood Brother" and "Sacrifice"
Worst Episode: "Taxi Driver" which just threw out the window half the shows mythology. It was simply: crap.
Best Character: Of our main characters (Sam, Dean, Cas, Crowley, and Kevin), was there anyone not amazing? Of course not, that is why I can't pick one because they all had amazing moments and grew and changed. Most importantly: they continued to entertain and keep me invested.
Worst Character: Agreed, Amelia. I hated everything about Sam's flashbacks except the dog. I wish he'd gotten to keep the dog.
Best Guest Star: Felicia Day as Charlie, who surprised me with her performance. (Note: Technically Osric Chau and Mark Sheppard were also a guest stars, but I don't see them that way. They were too involved in this great story.)
Risk that worked: Taking us into Purgatory. LOVED IT!!
Risk that didn't: "Bitten," for pretty much all the reason mentioned in the article
Best Surprise: How much I absolutely loved Benny! I was already impressed with Ty Olsson, but the idea of a vampire being friends with Dean was freakin' me out a bit. But, his performance and the writing changed my mind. I just hate how they wrote him out.
Best Villain: Crowley of course, because the man is hilarious and ruthless all at the same time. Honorable Mention: Naomi - she had to be pretty powerful to get Cas so close to killing Dean.

Avatar

In my opinion, season 8 was very disappointing. It's by far the worst season yet, for the same reasons you all have mentioned already. Luckily, the second half of the season made it up for the first half, and the finale made you forget about it all.
Still, I'm afraid for season 9. I hope the show's not getting too predictable and incredible, which is very possible with the whole 'fallen angels'-concept. Let's wait and see and in the meantime, keep re-watching the favourite episodes of this amazing show with this great actors!!

Avatar

The finale was excellent, and Naomi and Abaddon were brilliant - absolutely wonderful. Crowley, Cas and Dean are always great,and Sam (thank goodness) lifted his game in the last few episodes of S8. Benny was lovely, and Samandriel. S8 did, however, start off very badly, and was actually boring. Bitten, Witches and Krissy episodes were atrocious. Still shaking my head at the Amelia stuff, and I really dislike Kevin as a character. Hopefully Charlie and Garth don't re-enter for S9. I would,however, love to see the return of Gabriel, Lucifer & Raphael. I'm interested to see whether God will make a showing (they will need an extraordinary actor to play Him, but someone will have to put those angels back in heaven!).

Avatar

I hated the first half of the season but loved from 8.12 onwards. Very glad to see Sam finally being given a voice, Sam insight has been sorely lacking since the start of S4. I can't wait to see what happens with Sam next season. Hope for S9 - an end to the angel story at long last.

Avatar

Sorry, but I can only agree with some parts of your analysis,and that is with 'Bitten' being the worst episode of the season and the Amelia/ Sam relationship being completely unbelievable. For me, rest of the season was completely mediocre too, and often the dialogue was childish and cliched.
X
You did not mention the trashing of past Canon that was done this season. It's fine to introduce new canon ideas, but in a show as multi-layered as SPN you must build on what went before, not ignore it.
X
I'll begin with the unbelievable idea of Sam not even trying to look for his brother, when even the most casual viewer could have told him that Dean had been sucked into Purgatory along with Dick Roman's soul. From that we get a dose of contrived brother drama that taints the whole first ten episodes except for the half-decent 'Heartache', where the brothers at least get to have a successful hunt! Then we get 'Taxi Driver' which in one careless and badly written episode, trashes all the suffering the brothers have gone through in previous seasons by making Hell and Purgatory so easily accessible via a 'rogur reaper'. Really! The writers even contradicted their own canon. Naomi says that to get Castiel out of Purgatory, many angels were killed; why didn't she just use the rogue reaper. Much easier!
X
Then finding Bobby in Hell in just in the very spot where Sam entered; and he was so well preserved too. Not a sign of torture in sight!
What was Bobby doing there anyway?
I thought Crowley was a stickler for his deals to be above board otherwise no-one would take them any more? Why would he welch on Bobby?
Wouldn't it have been better to have freed Adam and send his innocent soul to heaven?
Balthazar had said that Patricide was a terrible sin that marked one, and yet Bobby who killed his father is considered an innocent soul. Muh.
X
Ditto with the Grand Canyon thing.
Floods of fan fiction have been written about that; albeit some may see it as a minor thing but in 'Croatoan', Dean clearly said that he had never been to the Grand Canyon, yet the writers now say he has, just to put in a childish joke about 'farty donkeys'!
I thought there was some sort of continuity 'Bible' for writers and their shows.
X
Then the brothers were supposed to carry out the three trials to close the Gates of Hell ( a weak story-arc in the first place ) but that wasn't done. Instead we get more boring angels coming down to Earth to annoy people.
I'll stop here but I could go on and on.
X
This in my humble opinion, is the worst season of SPN ever.
The Purgatory/Benny arc came to nothing; the Amelia one ditto; they didn't close the Gates of Hell and we had ten episodes of completely contrived brother tension that was unpleasant to watch, which from episode eleven onwards was completely turned around with no clearing of the air between the brothers.
X
The only good idea of the season was the Men of Letters and because it was a good idea, it was completely ignored after it was reveale;, reduced to simply using the bunker as a home base that was supposed to be kept a secret, but ends up being open to everyone!
X
Among all the reviewers of the show, I think you try to be the most analytical and honest but this season has very little to redeem or to be positive about.
X
Best regards.

Supernatural Quotes

You betrayed me? No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with.

Crowley

Castiel: It's very complex. If the pizza man truly loves this babysitter, why does he keep slapping her rear? Perhaps she has done something wrong.
Dean: Are you watching porn? Why?
Castiel: It was there.
Dean: You don't watch porn in a room full of dudes. And you don't talk about it. Just turn it off. Well now he's got a boner.

× Close Ad